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Old 19-05-2012, 10:01   #31
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Re: Removing Concrete Ballast

Chief, when sheet steel parts get holes punches in them (i.e. the place where keys are insterted in car doors?) the part that comes out is a "punching". Very commonly used to add weight to concrete ballast material. [Sidebar, one reason Japanese cars had a price advantage over the US years ago, was because Japan had no native iron deposits, so they were really clever about using larger punchings as the stock for making up smaller parts, while the US just threw 'em out.]

Zeehag-
"you will only spend money and be totally unable to find lead. "
You spent too much time in Kulifohnia, where even lead wheels weights on tires were banned. In the rest of the US you can still go to any tire shop and many of them will GIVE you their bucket of old weights, so they don't have to pay to have it hauled away. It is still very much available in many ways and places.

Dreadnaught-
But chiseling out a whole ballast...ignoring what effect all the jack-hammering might have on the structure, never intended to be vibrated that way...

I think I'd just pour some oil into the concrete, clean cheap lightwight (thin) lube oil, let it go down and get absorbed. That would make the EPA very unhappy, but since it is contained, it isn't their problem. And it will prevent the punchings from rusting in the cement. (I'd say used motor oil, but that tends to stink more, and you don't need stink here, ignoring whatever else might be in the oil and those issues.)

This used to be a fairly common way to prevent fenceposts set in concrete, etc. from rusting out, except of course that's real pollution these days. Within the keel? Should be no problem.

And way cheaper than the cost of all that new lead, even ignoring the long hard job of chiseling the concrete out.

FWIW there are also different ways to get a stable boat. Some have dynamic stability, i.e., they will rock very easily while not moving, but under way they will quickly heel over, settle in, and remain at a particular angle. Others are designed not to rock while sitting still. If you boat is "tippy" at the dock--that does NOT mean it will be equally tippy when under sail!
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Old 19-05-2012, 10:09   #32
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Re: Removing Concrete Ballast

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Originally Posted by David_Old_Jersey View Post
If OP has never chased out concrete by hand I suggest practicing first on a concrete block.

Then re-evaluate how bad the boat is for you.
This is great, practical advise. Regarding "tender", I believe the Dreadnaught is not a very beamy boat (right?). The concept of it being tender may simply be that the design heels over fast and easy and then gets in the groove. Boats like the Folkboat are like this, 50% ballast ratio! but heel deeply and immediately when the wind blows.

Most the punchings I've seen used in the US are steel and 3/8 to 3/4 inch thick... punched out of structural angles and plates etc. this was in the 70's and 80's when a lot of fabrication was going on and steel wasnt worth much recycled.... Never seen sheet metal ones used, but then that doesnt mean much!
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Old 20-05-2012, 09:32   #33
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Re: Removing Concrete Ballast

Hellosailor... I hear ya but apparently it's been done... at least with polyester which is a certainly a different animal. I wanted to direct the OP to the other Dread owner who reported succesfully doing this and more importantly I wanted to find out how the op determined that it was cement since after a couple of years of researching Dreadnoughts, including conversations with Bud Taplin, who was familiar with the Carpenteria operation, this is the very first I've heard of concrete ballast in one. Not to say it couldn't have been done I'd just want to confirm that it was just to add to my info on these boats especially if the concrete was just left exposed at the top of the bildge... assuming that this was not done by a buyer trying to save some money that would not reflect well on the builder at all.
If it is concrete I'm with DOJ or anyone else here like yourself who would advise the op to leave it alone.
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Old 20-05-2012, 09:49   #34
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Re: Removing Concrete Ballast

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...especially if the concrete was just left exposed at the top of the bildge....

A good point, poured ballast in a glass hull is usually encapsulated by glassing over the top of the pour in the keel. Usually you can't actually see the ballast.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:18   #35
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Exclamation Re: Removing Concrete Ballast

I have a Dreadnought 32 ('76) that was built and finished by the builders with the bilge filled resin & boiler punchings (?) encapsulated with F/G. I've owned 'Leonidas' since June of '03. My wife & I did a 4 year cruise from WA to Eucador to Fr. Polonesia to Hawaii back to WA where she lays in Port Townsend.

I can attest that you are correct in surmising that these boats are tender. I can't believe that Bill Crealock put his stamp on the ballasting arrangement that Dreadnought Boatworks chose. He must hove drawn the rig though, which I believe it to be far larger than called for in a cruising design. With the ballast placed inside the boat the CG of the ballast is probably 18" higher than the 'Tahiti' design which the boat is modeled upon.


I owned a wood 'tahiti' ('39) from '69 to '72 and solo sailed in from Hawaii to CA in March '70. That little boat was stiff. It had an iron ingot bolted to the bottom of the keel with some additional inside ballast (not more than 500 lbs). The boat had what was called the 'blue water' rig, 422 sq ft gaff ketch rigged.


On our legs from Tahiti to Hawaii and Hawaii to WA we were on the wind most of the way. 25 knots was the norm with a few squalls to 40 thrown in. Our usual sail combo was triple reefed main, double reefed mizzen (it only has 2 reef points) single reef in the staysail (only has one) and about 40% of the furling genoa. The boat was on it's ear the all the time.


I'm seriously considering the ballast conversion you are talking about. Not only is the boat tender but the bilges are shallow and any small amount of bilge water sloshes around the boat unimpeded. I hope this info encourages you in this endeavour since I notice that you go many a howling response to discourage.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:47   #36
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Re: Removing Concrete Ballast

Part of the tenderness is likely the rounded bilges and narrow beam. I imagine she heels fast initially and then settles down.(?) New lead wont help that alot., but some I suppose. Even narrow boats like the Contessa 26 with 50% ballast ratio tend to be tender that way.
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:50   #37
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Re: Removing Concrete Ballast

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
This is great, practical advise. Regarding "tender", I believe the Dreadnaught is not a very beamy boat (right?). The concept of it being tender may simply be that the design heels over fast and easy and then gets in the groove. Boats like the Folkboat are like this, 50% ballast ratio! but heel deeply and immediately when the wind blows.

Most the punchings I've seen used in the US are steel and 3/8 to 3/4 inch thick... punched out of structural angles and plates etc. this was in the 70's and 80's when a lot of fabrication was going on and steel wasnt worth much recycled.... Never seen sheet metal ones used, but then that doesnt mean much!
My boat is tender at first and then she stiffens up and puts on the speed.I think it was a CCA thing wherein it gets over and puts the overhangs in the water and then the LWL increases thus more speed...maybe?
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Old 12-02-2013, 09:57   #38
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Re: Removing Concrete Ballast

I guess I double posted the same info... didnt realize this was an earlier thread... duh
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Old 12-02-2013, 11:33   #39
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Re: Removing Concrete Ballast

" I can't believe that Bill Crealock put his stamp on the "
Usually a designer gets paid to design, then given a check and kissed goodbye, as far as I know. Case in point the Islander28, where the plans show a boat that never got built. The hull and rig may be the same, but the mast (keel stepped versus offset), the settee length, a number of things got changed by the builder for various reasons.
A designer could say "four thousand pounds of ballast" and a builder could say "Yeah, costs too much, we'll live with 3450 and we can get it cheap with punchings" and there you go.
Like a director/producer who has to watch their movie being "modified" to show on a family network. Heck, there are even three different cuts of "Almost Famous" out there and at least two of "The Big Chill" and that's just what's on disc. Why should nautical architects get any more control of their creative product than Hollywood producers?
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Old 12-02-2013, 13:07   #40
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Re: Removing Concrete Ballast

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" I can't believe that Bill Crealock put his stamp on the "
Usually a designer gets paid to design, then given a check and kissed goodbye, as far as I know. Case in point the Islander28, where the plans show a boat that never got built. The hull and rig may be the same, but the mast (keel stepped versus offset), the settee length, a number of things got changed by the builder for various reasons.
A designer could say "four thousand pounds of ballast" and a builder could say "Yeah, costs too much, we'll live with 3450 and we can get it cheap with punchings" and there you go.
Like a director/producer who has to watch their movie being "modified" to show on a family network. Heck, there are even three different cuts of "Almost Famous" out there and at least two of "The Big Chill" and that's just what's on disc. Why should nautical architects get any more control of their creative product than Hollywood producers?
Because the quality of their product determines whether people live or die. Not true of a movie.
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Old 12-02-2013, 13:16   #41
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Re: Removing Concrete Ballast

Quality of the product? Not really. You can change the details of a build quite a bit, and not affect the safety of it in the least. You design a wet locker, I think my customers will want a bigger head and longer settee, so I eliminate a wet locker. Any change in safety? Handling? Heeling? Nope.

You design an anchor locker on the foredeck, I erase it and save three hundred bucks of fiberglass work. Any change in safety? Nope. Except for the foredeck crew, but that's their problem.

It isn't as if they are radically changing the rig at random, or anything else. But there's a lot of cosmetic and "minor" structure that can be changed by the guys in marketing. In any product. And marketing generally rules the roost, in any business.
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Old 13-02-2013, 10:25   #42
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Re: Removing Concrete Ballast

I guess another option without having to jack hammer the concrete out would be to add a ballast "bulb". Maybe bolt on chunks of lead, 44lb zinc blocks or etc to either side of the keel at the bottom. Then fill all the gaps etc with some kind of filler like bondo, kitty hair, etc. Glass it over into a nice smooth bulb. I think those 44# Zincs are about 12" x 4" x 6" with two bolt holes in them. You could probably get 10 at least per side = 880 lbs.
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Old 13-02-2013, 18:20   #43
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Re: Removing Concrete Ballast

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I guess another option without having to jack hammer the concrete out would be to add a ballast "bulb". Maybe bolt on chunks of lead, 44lb zinc blocks or etc to either side of the keel at the bottom. Then fill all the gaps etc with some kind of filler like bondo, kitty hair, etc. Glass it over into a nice smooth bulb. I think those 44# Zincs are about 12" x 4" x 6" with two bolt holes in them. You could probably get 10 at least per side = 880 lbs.
Mars metals will design and cast a one or two piece bolt on lead bulb, I've installed several. Fit was just OK, but it worked great in each case. Easy install.
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Old 13-02-2013, 18:23   #44
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Re: Removing Concrete Ballast

there ya go! 44# zincs arent cheap anyway!
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Old 13-02-2013, 22:50   #45
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Re: Removing Concrete Ballast

Who needs a jackhammer? Concentrated ("glacial") nitric acid will chew through concrete in no time flat. No idea what will happen when it hits the fiberglass. And it probably will produce some toxic vapor when it hits the steel punchings. But hey, no jackhammer required!

Oh, one small thing, glacial acids can produce heavy vapor that can literally climb up your arms as you are pouring them. Then hop on what used to be your face and down your lungs...Some caution may be in order.
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